Even though it's not winter yet, we have had winter weather already. We've cranked up the heat, lit our holiday scented candles, started baking, and started using our fireplaces and woodstoves. In our attempts to get warm and cozy, this can sometimes come with an increased risk of house fires.

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Let's go over some key tips concerning fire safety precautions in your home to keep your family, and pets, safe should a fire occur.

Common holiday hazards include hot stoves, space heaters, electric blankets, loose wires and more. It's important to turn these items off when they are not needed and especially when you are not home. Inspecting the wires before each use is vital as well to make sure they haven't been chewed.

Never leave a pet unattended near an open flame. Invest in a fireplace screen or door to protect pets from getting too close to the fire.

Consider installing monitored smoke detectors. Firefighters will be notified of a blaze even if you are not home.

Know where your pets like to nap or hide. Should an emergency arise, you can quickly round them up. It's also a good idea to practice crating your pets. This will get them more accustomed to it.

Make a list of either accommodations that allow pets or temporary boarding facilities, animal shelters or relatives that can care for your pet in an emergency. It's best to have an evacuation plan of time…one less thing to worry about.

Speaking of planning, have an emergency plan and practice escape routes with your pet.

Prepare emergency supplies and traveling kits. Make sure your pet wears collars and up-to-date identification tags, and microchip them if possible. Store leashes and an emergency kit close to an exit.

Keep the contact information of a local animal hospital handy in case your pet needs medical treatment.

Get a rescue alert sticker. These stickers let rescue workers know how many pets are inside your home.

While this is only advice and won't completely prevent house fires during the fall and winter, it can help you keep you and your pets safe should a fire break out.

Northline Express is here to answer all your questions. Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at fireplaceorders@onlinestores.com .